Not a vice

Spring and the Corona Lunacy II

Thursday gratefuls: Overcast early morning. Kate, progress. Seoah and I at the grocery store. The clan that gathers on Tuesday mornings. That cool night. The howls. The coronavirus. Reshaping our lives, our history. Other plagues that teach us how to live with this one. History. Eduardo and Holly. Jude. Zeus and Boo. Even the new pine cones, still green on the Lodgepole branches. Pine pollen, tree sex about to get underway.

Gathering information. It eats up my time. Right now I have 30 tabs open in Firefox. Each tab is either an article or a video or an image I want to both read and collect. Most of them are from this morning.

Evernote is my enabler since it will save whatever I want. There are thousands of articles, youtube videos awaiting me there. And, I go back to them. I can find that article I remember from a couple of years ago. Or, all the notes on translating Ovid I took in 2013.

Now that I’m writing about it I look around my bookshelves and see the same inclination. Then, there’s that horizontal file cabinet and all the file-tubs on metal shelves. Travel souvenirs, small sculpture, a collection of snowglobes, art on the walls, stacked against the bookshelves. Some made by me.

Kate found this perfect space where my collections and I can be together with a view of Black Mountain and the Lodgepole Pines. I can sit inside my own mind, both its external and internal manifestations.

Started out writing this as a negative, a confessional piece about this vice I have for collecting. As I wrote, I thought, no, not a vice, just my way of being in the world.

On the Kabbalah zoom yesterday Jamie changed his name to I Am cloaked in a Jamie. When I saw that, I changed mine to Student masque. These are both instances of the Kabbalistic understanding of masks. We put on and take off masks all day, all life, perhaps all eternity long. Life is a mask for the elements held together in the shape of you. Your body is a mask for your neshama, your soul.

The student is a mask I wear, one I love. I put it on often, when I climb the stairs to this loft, it’s most often the student whose feet carry me. Other masks? Husband. Father. Friend. Nature lover. Pagan. Leftist. Advocate. Grandpop. Museum goer. Traveler. Abandoned boy. Dog companion. Fearful boy. Writer. Reviser. Gardener. Bee keeper. Scholar. Futurist.

The student loves to learn, to know. He is open, taking in new things, organizing them, saving them for future reference. He’s critical, too, as he has been taught, weighing evidence, comparing sources, looking for holes in the argument or how to shore up the argument.

Not a vice, just a mask.

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